The minimum wage in Haiti has been increased after demonstrations by garment workers at companies manufacturing clothes that are exported to countries around the world including the UK.

Since February, garment workers have been leading the protests in the capital, Port-au-Prince, calling for higher wages and better working conditions, supported by wider strike action.

In response, the Haitian government has increased the minimum wage by up to 54%. Employees in the clothing manufacturing sector received a 37% increase.

This increase takes garment workers’ wages to the equivalent of about £5.70 per day but this is much lower than the £11.47 per day that union leaders had demanded to keep pace with the rising cost of living. Last year, the price of rice and beans rose by nearly 135% while propane gas went up by 50%.

Haiti has long been promoted as a centre for clothing manufacturing partly because of low wages. In 2017, workers in Haiti began demanding higher wages but the government said this would lead to companies moving operations to other countries such as the Dominican Republic.

The clothing industry is Haiti’s largest employer, providing jobs for over 55,000 people, and accounts for 90% of the country’s total exports.